Families, Relationships and Societies
An international journal of research and debate

‘It is important that my kids see us all spending time together and that we do spend time together’: Pacific mothers and fathers displaying post-separation family connections

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  • 1 University of Auckland, , New Zealand
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In this article, we draw on concept of family display to examine how collectivist understandings of family intersect with gender to shape mothers’ and fathers’ post-separation displays of family life. Drawing on interviews with fifteen separated Pacific parents (ten mothers and five fathers), we explore how mothers and fathers navigate how, when, with and for whom they display family relationships and family life following separation. In pursuing this inquiry, we pay particular attention to how family imaginaries and norms in Pacific cultures affect participants’ post-separation family displays. We found gender differences among our participants, with mothers displaying post-separation family connections in child-centred and collectivist ways, while the post-separation family displays by fathers were child-related and more individualistic.

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